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Thorpe Lea Primary School

'A dedicated community working together, nurturing a safe, happy school where all children can achieve their potential'



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Whilst every adult at Thorpe Lea Primary is responsible for supporting children's spoken, reading and written skills; Miss McRae is our English Subject Leader. 


At Thorpe Lea Primary, our English curriculum is planned in line with the National Curriculum which aims to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:


  • read easily, fluently and with a good understanding 
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information 
  • acquire a wide vocabulary
  • an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage 
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences 
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas 
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.


At Thorpe Lea, we aim to ensure that all children foster a love of reading and writing. To do this, we teach English through dedicated 'English' lessons across the school which focuses on a Key Text approach. In addition, our children are continuously developing their English skills across other areas of the curriculum.


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Key Text Approach

Please find below the Key Texts each year group are studying across the year. Please note, due to the COVID-19 school closure, the order of texts may slightly differ for the academic year 2020-21.



Year One



Autumn (1)

Autumn (2)

Autumn (3)

Autumn (4)

Spring (1)

Spring (2)

Spring (3)

Spring (4)

Summer (1)

Summer (2)

Summer (3)

Summer (4)


Where the Wild Things Are

By Maurice Sendak

Cave Baby

By Julia Donaldson

Send For a Superhero

By Michael Rosen

Stanley’s Stick

By John Hegley

Lost and Found

By Oliver Jefferies

Sidney, Stella and the Moon

By Emma Yarlett


By Alexis Deacon

The Odd Egg

By Emily Gravett

I Want My Hat Back

By John Klassen

The Magic Bed

By John Burmingham

Naughty Bus

By Jan Oke

Pig the Pug

By Jo Williamson


Oral re-telling, developing a new character, own version narrative


Labels and captions, informal letters, narratives (own versions), retellings

Wanted posters, letters, emails, character descriptions, narrative (own version)

Retelling, narrative (own version), descriptions

Character Descriptions, Retellings, Non-chronological Reports, Narrative (Own Versions)

Moon fact files and simple information writing

Nonsense-Word Dictionary, Poems and Poetic Sentences

Diary entry, letter, certificate, Egg Spotter’s Guide (non-fiction report)

Narrative (sequel)

Fantasy story where children are transported to another world

Letters, sequels, non-chronological reports, narrative (own versions)

Shared poem, own version narrative, own version handbook


Year Two



Autumn (1)

Autumn (2)

Autumn (3)

Autumn (4)

Spring (1)

Spring (2)

Spring (3)

Spring (4)

Summer (1)

Summer (2)

Summer (3)

Summer (4)


The Bear under the stairs

By Helen Cooper


The Journey Home

By Frann Preston-Gannon

The Great Fire of London

By Emma Adams



By Emily Gravett


A Walk in London

By Salvorte Rubbino


The Minpins By Roald Dahl


The Dragon Machine By Helen Ward


Tadpole’s Promise

By Jeanne WIllis


House Help Up Trees

By Ted Kooser


Jim and the Beanstalk

By Raymond Briggs


Rosie Revere, Engineer

By Andrea Beatty


The Owl and the Pussycat

By Edward Lear



Letter of advice, writing in role, news-report, information poster and own version narrative

Posters, lists, short story, information report

Non- fiction text incorporating different text-types, including a guide to London buildings (non-chronological report), a poster and a diary entry in role.

Non-chronological reports (leaflets), character descriptions

Tourist guides

Setting description, character description, reports, retellings, fantasy narrative

Dragon guide and encyclopedia, dragon machine explanation, letter of advice, shopping list, description, letters in role

Explanation texts, narrative (own version), setting descriptions

Descriptive non-fiction. life-cycles, seed packets, journalistic writing

Narrative (Sequels and Retellings), Dialogue, Informal Letters

Explanation, report, advert, leaflet

Poetry, lists, letters, interviews


Year Three



Autumn (1)

Autumn (2)

Autumn (3)

Autumn (4)

Spring (1)

Spring (2)

Spring (3)

Spring (4)

Summer (1)

Summer (2)

Summer (3)

Summer (4)



By Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake


Leon and the Place Between

By Angela McAllister and Grahame Baker-Smith

The First Drawing

By Mordicai Gerstein


The Heart and the Bottle

By Oliver Jeffers


The Tear Thief

By Carol Ann Duffy and Nicoletta Ceccoli


Cloud Tea Monkeys

By Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham


The Pied Piper

By Brothers Grimm and Lisbeth Zwerger


The Tin Forest

By Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson


The Mysteries of Harris Burdick

By Chris Van Allsberg



By David Wienser


The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish

By Neil Gaiman

Jim, A Cautionary Tale

By Hilaire Belloc and Mini Grey



Narrative - own version (fantasy), recount (diary entry), character descriptions, instructions (recipes)

Narrative (Fantasy), Recount (Diary Entry) Setting Descriptions

Character description, diary entry, recount, narrative

Narrative (dilemma stories), character descriptions

Letter in role, shared poem, information poster, discussion

Descriptive passage, ‘how to’ guide, letter, discussion, nonchronological report

Information reports, adverts, narrative and analysis of a piece of poetry

Various non-fiction outcomes

Mystery stories, diary entries, dialogue, setting description (atmospheric description), captions and titles

Narrative (mystery stories), setting descriptions, narrative (retelling), non-Chronological reports, letters (informal)

Script for a pilot TV show

Narrative poetry (cautionary tales), performance poetry


Year Four



Autumn (1)

Autumn (2)

Autumn (3)

Autumn (4)

Spring (1)

Spring (2)

Spring (3)

Spring (4)

Summer (1)

Summer (2)

Summer (3)

Summer (4)


The Iron Man

By Ted Hughes


By Helen Ward



By Graeme Smith


The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

By C S Lewis

Winter's Child

By Angela McAllister


The Selfish Giant

By Oscar Wilde


The Lion and the Unicorn By Shirley Hughes


Odd and the Frost Giants

By Neil Gaiman


The Matchbox Diary

By Paul Fleischman


Shakelton's Journey

By William Grill


The Story of Tutankhamun

By Patricia Cleveland-Peck



By Lewis Carroll



Narrative suspense

Explanation text (leaflet), retellings, setting description

Sequel, retellings, recounts (postcards), explanation texts

Narrative set in another world, a poem about a sweet that bewitches the main character, an imaginary conversation between two characters and writing in role

Descriptive Poetry, Fantasy Story Sequel, Recount

Diaries, letters, posters, reports, own versions (narratives)

Letters, diary entries, character and setting descriptions, nonchronological reports, historical narrative

Explanations, narrative recount, setting descriptions

Dialogue, diary entry, retelling (oral dictation), mini-autobiography, ship’s log, non-chronological report

Interviews, Diaries, Letters, Newspaper report



Biography, non-chronological reports, instructions, diary entry, newspaper reports and posters

Nonsense and narrative poetry, explanatory descriptions


Year Five



Autumn (1)

Autumn (2)

Autumn (3)

Autumn (4)

Spring (1)

Spring (2)

Spring (3)

Spring (4)

Summer (1)

Summer (2)

Summer (3)

Summer (4)


The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

By Mordicai Gerstein

Robot Girl By Malorie Blackman and Matthew Griffin


Percy Jackson

By Rick Riordan



By Henry Cole


The Lost Thing

By Shaun Tan


The Tempest

By William Shakespeare, Helen Street and Charly Cheung


The Lost Happy Endings By Carol Ann Duffy and Jane Ray

The Sleeper and the Spindle

By Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

Kaspar, Prince of Cats

By Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman

Otto, Autobiography of a Teddy-bear

By Tomi Ungerer


Hidden Figures

By Margot Lee Shetterly 

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda By Tom Angelberger


Information writing (Wikipedia page), letters of advice (formal) persuasive speeches


Discussion, debate, science fiction narrative

Poetry in the form of an ode, narrative (additional chapter and own-version narrative)

Biography, recount in role, letters of advice

Character and setting descriptions, non-chronological reports, narrative (fantasy)

Setting description, character descriptions/comparisons, diary entry, play scripts


A newspaper report, an extended response to a text, prequel

Fairytale reworking warning poster, diary entry, dialogue, estate agent’s description, character description, missing narrative.

Character descriptions, reports, newspaper report, letters

Newspaper article, historical short story

Non-chronological Reports, formal persuasive letter, informal letter, diary entry, character descriptions, newspaper report (opinion piece), memoir

Discussion texts, persuasion, recount (diary entry), instructions


Year Six



Autumn (1)

Autumn (2)

Autumn (3)

Autumn (4)

Spring (1)

Spring (2)

Spring (3)

Spring (4)

Summer (1)

Summer (2)

Summer (3)

Summer (4)


Can We Save the Tiger?

By Martin Jenkins and Vicky White

Grimm Tales for Young and Old

By Phillip Pullman


The Arrival By Shaun Tan


The Templeton Twins: Have an Idea

By Ellis Weiner

The Boy in the Tower

By Polly Ho-Yen


The Invention of Hugo Cabret

By Brian Selznick

The Three Little Pigs Project

By The Guardian


The Promise

By Nicola Davies and Laura Davies


Romeo and Juliet

By William Shakespeare, Helen Street and Charly Cheung

A Beautiful Lie By Irfan Master


Ann Frank


Night Mail By W H Auden and GPO Film Unit



Letter, explanation, persuasive poster, persuasive speech, balanced argument



New ‘Grimm’ tale

Letters, list of rules, character descriptions, a longer story built around a man’s journey to another country, diaries, short play scripts, short report, guides

An adventure story that has: a problem and resolution; paragraphs and/or chapters with adverbials to signal time,
sequence or place;

Journalistic Writing, Formal Letters, a Longer narrative in present and past tense

Diary entry, report, journalistic writing, letters, commands

Discussion, debate, persuasion

Sequel and report

Diaries, letters, narratives, playscripts, character descriptions, balanced argument

Narrative (Adventure), Journalistic Writing, Recounts, Discussion text

Extended diary entries, obituary, newspaper article

Analysis of form and structure, innovated version with similar form and structure but different content